US merger reshapes top five

ACQUISITIVE Florida-based firm Holland & Knight has merged with Boston practice Sherburne Powers & Needham to become a top five US firm.

The deal, which became official on 1 November, is the firm's sixth acquisition this year and marks the latest stage of its concerted bid to become a national US firm.

The addition of Sherburnes' 80 lawyers means Holland & Knight now has more than 800 fee earners.

It has offices in 11 cities in Florida, as well as Atlanta, Boston, New York, north Virginia, San Francisco and Washington DC. It also has three foreign offices – in Melbourne, St Petersburg and Mexico City.

In its July issue The American Lawyer put the firm top of its “Big Gainers” list – firms which have grown the most over the last five years.

In that period the firm's fee income has risen by 45 per cent to $168.5m.

As part of the deal the former Sherburnes' office will trade as Sherburne Powers Holland & Knight.

Managing partner Thomas Swaim said: “The firm retains its widely recognised name and operating independence, yet it gains the depth of service and efficiency of a large national firm.”